KRISHNAGIRI: An alert driver of a train helped passengers escape without injuries as a coach and the engine of the Chennai-Palani Express derailed near Uthangarai in the early hours of Thursday. Four railway personnel were suspended after a preliminary inquiry.
An official of the Southern Railway told Express that the Chennai-Palani Express with 20 coaches — six general, 3 AC and 10 sleeper — started from Chennai around 10 pm on Wednesday with over 1,500 passengers. Around 2 am, the train reached Dasampatti Railway Station in Krishnagiri district and halted for a while for the track change, and then left the station after getting the go ahead signal.
However, the driver felt that the train had not on the track and applied brakes. In the impact, the train derailed and the wheels of the engine and an unreserved coach landed in mud.
On information, railway officials delinked the coaches. The remaining coaches were then attached to another engine and the train reached Salem around 10 am on Thursday. Thanks to the presence of mind of the driver, the train could be halted close to the lake bund of Dasampatti. Or else, it could have fallen into the lake.
After preliminary inquiry, Salem Divisional Railway Manager Hari Shankar Verma suspended station master on duty Umesh Prasad, Nitish Kumar Mishra, sweeper-cum-porter Senthil Kumar and traffic inspector Sanjay Prasad.